Marine informational governance, a conceptual framework

Marine informational governance, a conceptual framework

Marine Policy 42 (2013) 150–156 Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect Marine Policy journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/marpol M...

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Marine Policy 42 (2013) 150–156

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Marine Policy journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/marpol

Marine informational governance, a conceptual framework$ Ellen Hoefnagel n, Birgit de Vos, Erik Buisman LEI/Wageningen UR, Aquatic Resources, Alexanderveld 5, P.O. Box 29703, 2502 L.S. The Hague, The Netherlands

a r t i c l e i n f o

a b s t r a c t

Article history: Received 24 January 2013 Received in revised form 12 February 2013 Accepted 14 February 2013 Available online 16 March 2013

Marine governance involves interaction between networks and actors from different types and levels of organizations. The concept of multi-level or network governance steps away from the assumptions that supra-national and national government at the macro level is the dominant policy making unit. At all levels information is crucial, among others to overcome social dilemmas of collective action in marine resource use and management. In this paper theories of multi-level governance, of collective action, of trust and of information economics will be linked to the idea of the increasing importance of information, information technologies and information processes in environmental governance, which is termed ‘informational governance’. This linking of theories and concepts results in a new and innovative framework to better understand the changing role of information in marine resource management, enterprises, institutions and actual practices of governance. The framework will help to investigate the effectiveness of informational governance in solving problems related to marine resources. & 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Marine informational governance ICT processes Information society Institutional change Collective action Trust

1. Introduction Marine governance is increasingly about the integration of policy objectives like responsible fisheries and the sustainable exploitation of other marine resources, attaining a good environmental status (GES), participation of stakeholders and taking account of market instruments like eco labeling. Marine governance can be defined as the sharing of policy making competencies in a system of negotiation between nested governmental institutions at several levels (international, (supra)national, regional and local) on the one hand and market parties and civil society organizations on the other in order to govern activities at sea and their consequences. Marine governance is thus about sectoral activities and policy domains, such as fishing, shipping, nonrenewable and renewable energy production (oil and gas production and windmill parks), sand extraction, and nature conservation, to realize a sustainable use of marine resources, and the cooperation and involvement of market parties, civil society actors and governmental actors (UN, EU, national and subnational) in a given marine region [1] At all levels of marine governance information and information technology is crucial, among others to overcome social

$ This paper is a first result of the project ‘Virtual Quota Swaps’, which is part of the IPOP Informational Governance programme of the University of Wageningen, The Netherlands. n Corresponding author. Tel.: þ31 703358231; fax: þ31 703358196. E-mail addresses: [email protected], [email protected] (E. Hoefnagel).

0308-597X/$ - see front matter & 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2013.02.006

dilemmas of collective action in natural resource use and management [2,3]. The role of information in marine governance has changed dramatically, and has partly caused the shift in governance from state governance to multi-level governance. According to Mol [4] information and informational processes, technologies, institutions, and resources linked to it are fundamentally restructuring processes, institutions, and practices of environmental governance, in a way which is essentially different from that of conventional modes of environmental governance. Where conventional governance highly relies on authoritative resources, belief in information control, and state power, in informational governance information is becoming a crucial (re)source with transformative powers for a variety of actors, although nobody is (totally) in control of information. The term ‘informational governance’ can be seen as a parallel to the concepts ‘information economy’, or information society, which refer to the role information plays in economic and social processes. Informational governance points at the possibilities and practices of using information to visualize, emphasize, articulate, communicate and coordinate natural resource interests and rationalities about natural resources [4,7]. The link between informational governance and distribution of information is highly relevant, as access to information is not equally distributed within, or among countries. In informational governance ICT plays a vital role, as well as the idea that information is fundamentally restructuring processes, institutions and practices of resource management. Consequentially, the trend is that the (supra-)national state power tends to be replaced by a diversity of actors and multi-level networks. With new electronic equipment playing

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a central role and the increase in number of people and institutions having access to and making use of the information in a more globalized world, states tend to lose their monopoly as managers of public goods. Other actors, such as consumers, customers, NGOs, communities, producers are increasing their influence on policy making. For instance the information economy or society can make use of ‘informational regulation’ [4]. Standards for informational regulation, like informational disclosure of behavior of firms, are not anymore mainly enforced by governments, but may also very well be enforced by market parties, citizen groups or public opinion. These non-governmental powers supply regulatory pressure through market dynamics, private litigation, or moral persuasion [5]. Examples are online information via social media, websites, and (eco-)labels and benchmarks. They have the purpose of informing, persuading and convincing or tempting, and they create social support and increase awareness [6]. The conventional powers of (state) authority in environmental protection are partly replaced by informational resources, flows, and processes in new governance arrangements and networks [4]. As a consequence of these multi information flows, scientific information becomes one of the many sources of environmental information. Within the marine research literature, the idea of informational governance is relatively novel. Several authors have stressed the importance of information in environmental governance [1,8]; however they have not elaborated on the role of information in marine governance. This paper will fill this gap by linking theories of multi-level governance, of collective action and of information economics to the concept of informational governance with the aim to understand the ways information technology restructures marine governance and changes (power) relationships. This linking of different theories will create a new and innovative framework that helps to understand the changing role of information in marine resource management, (marine) enterprises, institutions and actual practices of governance. This paper starts with a literature review on multi-level governance; information economy and regulatory information; informational governance; trust and collective action theory. Thereafter it focuses on marine informational governance and a framework to study informational governance in the marine environment is proposed.

2. Shifts in governance Modern societies have in recent decades seen a destabilization of the traditional governing mechanisms and the advancement of new arrangements of governance. Noticeably, this has occurred in the private, semi-private and public spheres, and has involved local, regional, national, transnational and global levels within these spheres. Shifts have taken place in the forms and mechanisms of governance, the location of governance, governing capacities, and styles of governance [9]. The first shift that the concept of governance builds upon is the fact that political processes increasingly involve multiple actors [10]. Not only formal public institutions and organizations govern the world order, but also multinationals, private and non-governmental organizations. Secondly, the political process has increasingly become multilevel. Within the European Union sub-national actors participate in policy making and engage in interactions with EU institutions directly [11], next to interacting at the national level. The diversification of rules that shape policy practices is the third shift within governance. The state is now subject to new and informal rules itself [10], like criteria for good governance. The fourth shift is that of an increasing variety in steering mechanisms. New types of law and regulation are emerging, the so-called soft law and procedural regulation [12] e.g. resolutions and

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declarations of the UN General Assembly, for example, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and statements, principles, codes of conduct, codes of practice. Fifthly, governance is characterized by its multiple spheres of authority. There are new loci of authority and new spaces of politics besides the conventional nation–state system of politics. Examples of actors involved in these spheres of authority are: intergovernmental bodies, multinationals, municipalities, NGOs [11]. The shifts in forms and mechanisms of governance have triggered the building of networks1 of actors and interactions that go beyond the conventional boundaries of politics. The result has been the blurring of boundaries between the state, market and civil society.

3. Informational governance: internationalization and increased complexity From the previous section it has become clear that from the 1990s onwards scholars see nation states no longer as governing powers, able to impose outcomes on all dimension of policy within a given territory by their own authority, but as loci from which forms of governance can be proposed, legitimated and monitored [13], pp. 190. States, societies, and physical space are no longer the core concepts for understanding modern society in the information age [14]; flows and networks replace these core concepts [7], pp. 44. Castells [14] has analyzed how a new social morphology emerged through globalization and information technology development, and coined this transition as the coming of the ‘global network society’ [4]. The global network society is a new way of structuring time and space through reintegrating the functional unity of different elements at distant locations, made possible by modern transport, and ICT [14]. The concept of informational governance refers to institutions and practices of (environmental) governance that are to a significant extent structured and ‘ruled’ by information, informational processes, informational technologies and struggles around access to, control over, and production and use of (environmental) information [7]. Mol [7] distinguishes four wider social developments that, together, have influenced the new mode of environmental governance (see Fig. 1). First, it is dependent on new information and communication technologies (ICT). An increasing number of people and institutions have access to and make use of information. ICT improves capacities and abilities of monitoring, measurement and collection of environmental information and helps to make this information publicly available through the internet in a shorter timespan than ever. Second there is an intimate relationship between the ICT revolution and processes of globalization. Increasingly, environmental information sources are global, the information processing is global, interpretation of environmental information is global and information circulation and consumption are global. An important reason for this is that it becomes nearly impossible to define environmental problems and issues as only place bound or national, e.g. climate change, air pollution or marine contamination. The importance of international cooperation in approaching transboundary environmental problems has long been acknowledged through multilateral environmental treaties and regimes [15]. This globalization process is closely related to the third parallel development which is that of the redefinition of states roles in the management of the environment (and other domains). In 1980s nation state institutions were increasingly questioned for their deficiency in sustaining trust; loss of legitimacy; and poor 1 Many authors stress the importance of policy networks that are organized across policy areas and government levels [16], and therefore they prefer to use the term ‘network’ governance instead of ‘multilevel governance’ [17].

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significant economic, political, and cultural activity. In such a society, using information technology (IT) in a creative and productive way is an important step in obtaining international competitive advantage [18]. The knowledge economy or the information economy2 is the economic counterpart of the information society. In the knowledge or information economy wealth is created through the economic exploitation of information and understanding. Information has economic value because it allows individuals to make choices that yield higher expected payoffs or expected utility than they would obtain from choices made in the absence of information. Thus the value of information equals the difference between the expected utility from decisions with and without information [19]. For example, consistent and timely weather forecasts are extremely valuable to the international shipping industry as the decision to stay in the harbor during rough weather may prevent serious damage to ships and save lives.

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Fig. 1. Four wider social developments have influenced the new mode of governance: informational governance (after Mol [7]).

effectiveness. It became from then on clear that state authorities were dependent on global developments as well as on non-state actors in successfully developing and implementing policies, programs and activities. These non-state actors include consumers, NGOs, communities, producers, etc. Next to this nation states were increasingly encapsulated into supra-states, like the EU. On the one hand state authorities use information flows as a governance tool while at the other informational resources empower non-state actors and make state borders increasingly permeable and less relevant. The democratization, transparency and easy access of a growing amount of environmental information, that at the same time is less traceable and verifiable, restructures environmental governance processes. So the emergence of an informational mode of (environmental) reform is closely related to the ideas of multi-level and multi-actor governance. The fourth analogous social development is that the generation of information and knowledge related to governance is no longer restricted to or legitimately monopolized by (natural) science and scientists. This makes knowledge and information an object of power struggles. Conventional institutions as state authority and natural sciences do not seem to be able to solve environmental risks and uncertainties. According to Mol [7] information based mechanisms, like accountability, transparency and openness, participation, procedural requirements (which are the criteria of good governance) and social and political process of coalition building, replace science in legitimizing decisions and building trust. Hence, governance is increasingly organized and regulated by information, informational processes, informational technologies and subsequent power struggles around access to, control over, and production and use of information. In the next sections this development will be further explored.

4. Information society, information economy, informational regulation and power The information society is a society where the creation, distribution, diffusion, use, integration and manipulation of information is a

Information can only give (economic) advantage if not everyone has the same information. In other words, asymmetric information is an important element in creating competitive advantage. Asymmetries can lead to opportunistic behavior, whereby the person who knows something that others do not is able to benefit at their expense. A very general form of information asymmetry occurs when individuals or goods vary widely in terms of essential quality attributes that are extremely difficult to measure without investing substantial amounts of time or other resources, which are called ‘transaction costs’. Transaction costs are generally defined as the costs of gathering information, evaluating alternative options, negotiating, contracting, monitoring, enforcing, and the physical transaction of the object [20]. Information search costs are closely related to strategic and coordination costs. These costs are consequences of the complexity and the uncertainty of the economic system. Unless counteracting institutions have been devised to cope with these information asymmetries or a trusting relationship is present, various adverse selection and moral hazard problems may occur that substantially increase transaction costs [21], or make interested parties to decide not to exchange. Illegal landings and discards of fish can be considered a moral hazard problem that arises from individual catches that are unobservable to society, and hence are private and consequently asymmetric information [22]. Other examples of marine moral hazard problems are (unreported) oil spills from platforms or vessels, and the (intentional) mislabeling of marine products. Adverse selection occurs in markets with asymmetric information about quality. The consequence is then that the bad products drive out the good products. Individuals must often make choices based on incomplete knowledge of all possible alternatives and their likely outcomes. When multiple individuals are involved in environments, like marine environments, where complex activities must be coordinated across space and over time, they may attempt to reduce the substantial uncertainties they face through various forms of implicit and explicit agreements [20]. Institutional agreements or arrangements that help to generate information or distribute it, have a crucial role in reducing all types of (transaction) costs. 2 Castells [14] makes the distinction between information economy and informational economy. Informational economy points to the idea that generating, processing and transmitting information is a fundamental source for productivity and (economic) power which is closely linked, with the aid of ICT, to social and economic global networks.

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4.2. Institutional arrangements and informational regulation Three types of counteracting institutions are widely used in industrial economies: brand name goods, chain stores, and licensing [21]. Other examples of institutions or institutional arrangements that help to generate or distribute information are: co-management, agreements like covenants, and good fish guides. These institutional arrangements that help to generate or distribute information have a crucial role in reducing all types of (transaction) costs. Information technology (IT) is a powerful tool to support the economic system because it makes more information available so that the uncertainty faced is reduced and hence the transaction costs are lowered. On the other hand, the literature dealing with the problem of information overload underlines the negative effects of IT because a greater level of complexity is faced as consequence of the increased quantity of information made available by the technology [20]. Still, ICT does play a crucial role nowadays in the generation and distribution of information. Besides the potential role of information in the reduction of transaction costs, information can also be used to provide people or organizations with incentives to behave in a certain desired way. This is referred to as informational regulation (IR). IR is any regulation which provides information about company operations to third parties. IR can for instance require the publication of certain information which may provide a verified signal of regulatory compliance. Or it can require that specified third parties or the public have access to certain information about a company’s operations, without imposing a particular result or outcome [5]. Thus, IR provides stakeholders with information on the operations of the regulated entities, usually with the expectation that these stakeholders will exert pressure on these entities to comply with their standards. Within marine governance, informational regulation plays an increasingly important role and aims to achieve higher levels of environmental protection on a voluntary basis through disclosure of information. Eco-labels are clear examples of IR in marine governance. Standards for eco-labels are usually defined by non-governmental organizations and certification is obtained from accredited third parties. Eco-labels are ‘enforced’ by markets and public opinion and complement ‘command and control’ governmental regulations on environmental protection and use of private rights in environmental governance. 4.3. Power In general terms power is the production, in and through social relations, of effects that shape the capacities of actors to determine their own circumstances and faith [23]. Governance and power are inextricably linked. Governance involves the rules, structures, and institutions that guide, regulate and control social life, features that are fundamental elements of power [23]. Barnett and Duval [23] mainly discuss power as restricted to the state. However, in informational governance, information and knowledge are no longer restricted to or legitimately monopolized by politicians, the state, and by (natural) scientists [4]. Yet, information, information production, information transmission, and information access are not equally divided over the globe, nor within countries. Therefore, knowledge and information are an object of power struggles. Inequalities and monopolies in information, construction of environmental knowledge, information-handling capacity, information-generation and transmission capabilities, access to information and to information publication, and credibility construction are becoming key resources in power struggles around informational governance. Environmental knowledge and environmental information (flows), might be monopolized or controlled in

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and through a few hands. Multinational media conglomerates, transnational companies, political elites, and powerful state bureaucracies have a strong position in the production and distribution of information [4,7]. Hacking (e.g. ‘‘Climategate’’) and leaking (e.g. ‘‘Wikileaks’’) are illegal attempts to make information flows more transparent and to break power positions of politicians, states and scientists. Because of the enormous attention hacking and leaking receives in the media, scientists, bureaucrats and politicians are risking to become less trustworthy.

5. Institutional trust and collective action Trustworthiness of information and of actors is essential in any societal domain. Under the condition that the presented information is trustworthy, information and ICT can minimize transaction costs. The same counts for informational regulation; when for example an eco-label is not considered as trustworthy it will not regulate behavior. Trust can be defined as a set of favorable expectations, shared by those in exchange [24], pp. 61. These expectations are influenced by beliefs, knowledge, memory and interpretation of past experiences [25]. In the information society and according to informational governance, multiple actors play a role. Where previously information in natural resource management was controlled by the state, now a variety of actors and institutions play a role in information exchange and cooperation. This has resulted in interactions and information flows between a diversity of actors. A consequence is that relationships between stakeholders are changing as well. New interactions, dependencies, and negotiations among stakeholders that previously did not interact and even distrusted one another, are now emerging, resulting in new trust relationships [26]. Moreover, information nowadays comes from multiple sources (actors) which enjoy different degrees of trust. Because it is not possible to know everyone personally, reputation plays an important role in modern societies, such as the information society. Therefore, these societies are largely based on institutional trust. Recommendations and judgments of others then become crucial. Reputation has three dimensions: the functional, the social and the expressive [27]. Functional reputation is based on demonstrated success (‘objective’ figures), for example a company’s profits. The central question for social reputation is to what extent actors are ‘good citizens’: that is, whether they simply trample on others in pursuit of success, or whether they act responsibly, in line with social norms and values. In the global age, corporate social responsibility, or s ocial reputation, has become significantly more important. Judgments of taste dominate in the world of the expressive reputation. It is about attractiveness and uniqueness, and is based on emotions [27]. The literature on environmental cooperation and on trust, in general, posits a wide range of causal interactions between institutional mechanisms and trust. The view is prevalent that institutional arrangements encourage cooperation and solve the collective action problem by building more trust and social capital among actors, which then leads to greater cooperation (see for example Putnam [28], Rothstein [29], and Raymond [30]). Where individual, rational, resource users (e.g. users of the marine environment) act against the best interest of the users collectively the free-rider problem occurs. This applies only when the many, independently acting individuals involved have high discount rates (which is putting much more value on present benefits than on future benefits) and little mutual trust, no capacity to communicate or to enter into binding agreements, and when they do not arrange for monitoring and enforcing mechanisms to avoid overinvestment and overuse [2].These

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features are the opposite of the design principles3 of stable common pool resources. Ostrom recognizes the importance of drawing on the strengths of many different institutions working together—government agencies, user groups and private actors—and the importance of co-operating at multiple scales, rather than depending on a single, monolithic governance structure. In a publication on climate change, Ostrom [3] states: ‘‘Building a strong commitment to find ways of reducing individual emissions is an important element for coping with this problem, and having others also take responsibility can be more effectively undertaken in small- to medium-scale governance units that are linked together through information networks and monitoring at all levels’’. For future analyses of how individuals relate to natural resources at multiple scales, the conventional theory of collective action needs revision based on a behavioral theory of human action and a recognition of the importance of context in affecting levels of trust and reciprocity of those involved [3], pp. 10–11. The capability of those involved to gain a reputation for being trustworthy and reciprocating the efforts of others to cooperate with their own cooperation turns out to be a central characteristic of settings where moderate to high levels of cooperation are sustained [29,31]. To achieve its objects, any policy that tries to improve levels of collective action to overcome social dilemmas must enhance the level of trust by participants that others are complying with the policy or else many will seek ways of avoiding compliance4 [3], pp. 11. The updated theory of collective action developed by Poteete, Janssen, and Ostrom [31] is quite optimistic about the likelihood of diverse organizations at multiple levels finding policies that increase levels of voluntary cooperation or increase compliance with rules established by governmental authorities. The presumption is that cooperation will occur in settings with several broad characteristics. These include the following: (1) Many of those affected have agreed on the need for changes in behavior and see themselves as jointly sharing responsibility for future outcomes. (2) The reliability and frequency of information about the phenomena of concern are relatively high. (3) Participants know who else has agreed to change behavior and that their conformance is being monitored. And finally (4) Communication occurs among at least subsets of participants. In [34], different forms of communication in public-good experiments are compared. In line with other studies, face-to-face communication increased cooperation considerably. They also found that communication through text

3 Ostrom [2] identified eight ‘‘design principles’’ of stable local common pool resource (CPR) management: (1) clearly defined boundaries (effective exclusion of external un-entitled parties); (2) rules regarding the appropriation and provision of common resources that are adapted to local conditions; (3) collective-choice arrangements that allow most resource appropriators to participate in the decision-making process; (4) effective monitoring by monitors who are part of or accountable to the appropriators; (5) a scale of graduated sanctions for resource appropriators who violate community rules; (6) mechanisms of conflict resolution that are cheap and of easy access; (7) self-determination of the community recognized by higher-level authorities; (8) in the case of larger common-pool resources, organization in the form of multiple layers of nested enterprises, with small local CPRs at the base level. 4 Important are the following: (1) reliable information is available about the immediate and long-term costs and benefits of actions; (2) the individuals involved see the common resource as important for their own achievements and have a long-term time horizon; (3) gaining a reputation for being a trustworthy reciprocator is important to those involved; (4) individuals can communicate with at least some of the others involved; (5) informal monitoring and sanctioning is feasible and considered appropriate; and (6) social capital and leadership exist, related to previous successes in solving joint problems. Further (7), when individuals and groups face rules and sanctions imposed by external authorities, these are viewed as legitimate and enforced equitably on all. Trust that governmental officials are objective, effective, and fair is more important in enabling a governmental policy to work than reliance on force ([32,33] in Ostrom 2009 [3]).

messages in a chat format, preserving anonymity and excluding facial expression, was almost as effective as face-to-face communication. Orbell et al. [35] conclude that two possible explanations exist for the effect of communication: group discussion enhances group identity or solidarity, and group discussion elicits commitments to cooperate. Shankar and Pavitt [36] come to a similar conclusion and suggest that voicing of commitments and development of group identity and norms seem to be the best explanation for previous experimental results. Hence, information, communication and trust seem to be crucially linked and are of major importance in (environmental) governance to overcome social dilemma’s like the free riding problem in marine governance (causing overexploitation, pollution, etc.). With the aid of ICT this cooperation could be further developed.

6. Marine informational governance Globalization and internet is enabling an increasing number of stakeholders to become better informed and more determined to participate in the management of marine environment. Marine environment management agencies are therefore becoming increasingly unable to exert control over the flow of information in marine environment management processes, and less able to exclude other formal and informal institutions from influencing management processes (cf. Gibbs [37],5). The Internet/World Wide Web combination enables substantially greater connectivity between both individuals and institutions, and greatly increases the information available to individuals. Marine governance institutes and marine activities have been affected by these new information and communication technologies: fishermen use computers to find the fish and their ways at sea, trying to avoid (temporary) closed areas, mammals, juvenile fish, other vessels, shipwrecks, windmill parks, oil platforms, etc. Meanwhile they use the internet to transmit information to their network on their catch, position, best market prices and to discuss policy, to trade quota, etc. Satellites of inspecting services survey sea users’ behavior and cameras are sometimes used aboard to monitor fish discards. In September 2012, electronic fishing logbooks were introduced in the EU to be checked by inspecting services. Consumers find information on sustainability issues of marine environment exploiters and can trace and track their favorite fish. Tourists can find information on the internet on safe and clean beaches (blue flag beaches) or other attractive marine sceneries and activities. This information is provided by both governmental organizations, NGOs and/or private parties. The increased access to information allows stakeholders also to actively participate in management. For example, individual fishers can learn about how other fisheries are managed, can communicate with fishers in other fisheries, and assess the performance of the management of specific fisheries remotely. This means that key knowledge and information now does not solely rest within the confines of large centralized fisheries management agencies. At the click of a key, the latest research reports can be downloaded by anyone with a computer and an internet connection. Similarly, individual fishers can openly communicate with a vast number of individuals with ease, thus increasing opportunities to influence management processes [37]. A consequence of these developments is that (management) institutions can be considered an interactive process. Then, the central goal of creating a knowledge base is no longer objective knowledge (or information), because from a process viewpoint 5

Gibbs examples are fisheries related.

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there is no such thing. From a process viewpoint all knowledge arises from some place and exists in a form that someone has chosen. The central question shifts from objective knowledge to transparent knowledge, because an effective management process requires that participants account to one another about how they know what they say they know [38]. This does not necessarily undermine the authority of science, however what does undermine the authority of science in natural resource management is the constant pressure on scientists to produce objectivity out of what they know to be deep uncertainty [38]. The role of scientists is changing. Scientists continue to measure, theorize and model the dynamics of ecosystems, fish populations and economic activities. The difference lies in how these models will be used to focus the management process. They would structure decision steps in stakeholder negotiations over management strategies rather than simply providing fast numbers for negotiations to divide among user groups [39]. A consequence is that scientists need to communicate with stakeholders and need to try to incorporate different types of knowledge in their studies and models. In recent EU marine research projects it is mandatory to involve stakeholders into the research process.

7. Conclusion: a framework for studying marine informational governance What is the role of ICT, internationalization or globalization, multi-level governance and the changing status of science in the developments of marine governance? In this paper the two topics information society and marine governance have been connected. What is needed now is knowledge on how this increasing connectedness can be studied in order to understand the ways it restructures marine governance and changes (power) relationships. Questions to be answered are, in what form, where and how marine informational governance is emerging, which actors play a role, and which actors are excluded, at what levels, and finally, which governance structures are being put into place and which structures survive. In addition, the research should deal with topics such as who has access, and who does not have access, to what type (biologic, economic, social, political, technical) of

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marine knowledge and information and who produces this knowledge and information? What are the effects of informational marine governance for whom or what? What is the effect of informational governance on transaction costs and does it help solving asymmetric information problems? What is the quality of information and knowledge, are their new uncertainties and risks as a consequence of marine informational governance? And finally, how do these findings score on criteria for good governance; effectiveness, transparency, coherence, efficiency, participation? These questions can be studied with the aid of different theories and concepts that are described in this paper. By linking these theories and concepts a new and innovative framework to better understand the changing role of information in marine resource management, enterprises, institutions and actual practices of governance is created. In Fig. 2 a schematic framework is presented in which the issues, theories and concepts to study changes in information, institutions and roles in marine informational governance are linked and summarized. The assessment method can potentially be a marine case study research, which will be evaluated according to the criteria of good governance and resource management design principles of the updated theory of collective action [30]. This framework will be used to study the international quota swap practice in the North Sea in the context of the IPOP Informational Governance Project of Wageningen University. These quota swaps increasingly occur between North Sea EU Member States and Norway, due to alterations in national fishing capacities and methods. This practice influences the principle of ‘relative stability’, since the fixed balance of the Total Allowable Catch distribution by country is changing through these swaps. Although each North Sea member state and Norway implemented different national quota allocation systems, like ITQs, IQs, IVQs and PO-quota, fishermen and their organizations succeed in swapping North Sea quota ‘virtually’ over their borders. Apart from the practice as described in the previous paragraph, the proposed framework could be applied to study all kinds of marine governance topics for which change in information through ICT, institutions and roles, that restructure marine governance, is an issue. Another example concerns the practice

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Fig. 2. Framework to study marine informational governance.

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of Real Time Closures (RTCs). Since 2007, Scotland has operated a system of ‘‘real-time’’ closures of sea areas where there are concentrations of cod. This system of closures is designed to help the continuing recovery of cod stocks in the waters around Scotland [40]. In the Netherlands there have been experiences from 2004 on with RTCs when too much juvenile plaice is caught [41]. In September 2009 the European Community and Norway have agreed to implement a RTC system in the North Sea and Skagerrak for juvenile cod, haddock, whiting and saithe. The hypotheses could be tested whether or not through these practices (RTCs and quota swaps) a kind of ‘real-time’ informational governance of North Sea fish stocks arises, that restructures governance processes, institutions, roles and information flows. Topics where other stakeholders than private actors from the fisheries sector try to influence marine governance, are also potential case studies, e.g. the development of the Marine Stewardship Council label, an industry/consumers/fishers/NGO/ scientists cooperation to promote and reward sustainable fishing and trade [42]; the blue flag beaches initiative, which is an ecolabel for beaches and marinas where coastal municipalities and entrepreneurs strive for and that informs tourists about quality of beaches and marinas [43]; and the clean shipping index. The latter takes into account the major part of environmental effects connected to shipping, such as emissions to air and water, use of chemicals, antifouling and ranks performances of vessels or shipping companies (a Swedish and Dutch ENGO initiative) [44,45]. Finally, a more wide ranging case study could be to study informational governance in a marine region (e.g. the North Sea or the Baltic Sea) from a long-term perspective in order to explore the effect of the emerging role of ICT, internationalization, multi-level governance and the changing status of science in the developments of marine governance in such a region, while including different marine actors, sectors, institutions and governments. References [1] Van Tatenhove JPM. Integrated marine governance: questions of legitimacy. MAST 2011;10(1):87–113. [2] Ostrom E. Governing the commons.The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1990. [3] Ostrom E. A polycentric approach for coping with climate change. Policy Research working paper World Bank, No. WPS 5095; 2009. [4] Mol APJ. Environmental governance in the information age: the emergence of informational governance. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 2006;24:497–514. [5] Kleindorfer PR, Orts EW. Informational regulation of environmental risks. Risk Analysis 1998;18(2):155–170. [6] Egmond C, Jonkers R, Kok G. One size fits all? Policy instruments should fit the segments of target groups Energy Policy 2005;34:3464–3474. [7] Mol APJ. Environmental reform in the information age.The contours of informational governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2008. [8] Sutherland M, Nichols S. Issues in the governance of marine spaces. /http:// www.fig.net/pub/figpub/pub36/chapters/chapter_1.pdfS, 2006. [9] Kersbergen K, van Waarden F. Governance as a bridge between disciplines: cross-disciplinary inspiration regarding shifts in governance and problems of governability, accountability and legitimacy. European Journal of Political Research 2004;43:143–171. [10] Van Leeuwen J. Who greens the waves? Changing authority in the environmental governance of shipping and offshore oil and gas production. Environmental Policy Series, vol. 1. Wageningen: Academic Publishers; 2010. [11] Marks G, Hooghe L. Multi-level governance and European integration. Lanham (MD): Rowman & Littlefield; 2001. [12] Treib O, Bahr H, Falkner F. Modes of governance: towards conceptual clarification. Journal of European Public Policy 2007;14(1):1–20. [13] Hirst P, Thompson G. Globalization in question: the international economy and the possibilities of governance. Cambridge (UK): Polity Press; 1996.

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